Robert A. Bonavito, CPA PC

Divorce Series Part 9: Terms & Definitions

My name is Robert Bonavito, "New Jersey Forensic accountant." This video is a part of a series of videos where I discuss forensic accounting topics for educational purposes only. If this was a litigative matter, I would take a different approach, have different conclusions based on different...

Hi. Welcome to the last section of our divorce and matrimonial discussion. Today we're going to talk about key terms, because I think it's important that you understand these terms and most of them you will. But let's just go through them because you're going to hear them in court, you're going to read about them, you're going to see them in your agreements.

First one is moneyed spouse, non-moneyed spouse. This is a politically correct way of discussing males, you know, who's the breadwinner, who's not. And also with same-sex marriages, this is used a lot because, you know, if Frank and Frank or Sue and Sue are getting divorced usually you have the moneyed spouse, non-moneyed spouse. Again, this is a politically correct convenient way to discuss things with the marriage.

Dissipation. Dissipation is when money was taken out of the marriage and used for purposes not for the marriage. Like, for example, somebody who has a gambling problem, an alcohol problem, or a girlfriend, all that money is dissipation. And all that money will come back into the marriage and [inaudible 00:01:22] out lifestyle.

A Daubert challenge is usually a challenge of an expert's report. If it's not written properly it can be challenged and thrown out, so... There is always a Daubert challenge. Ninety-nine percent of the time there's nothing to it, but it's good for your expert to understand it.

Attribution. You have the non-moneyed spouse and the moneyed spouse. And the non-moneyed spouse may have no income, but they can work and make $40,000, so the judge will attribute income to her when calculating alimony and child support.

Equitable distribution is when you divide the assets in the house. Like, if you have a house with a mortgage and the 401k plans, it's usually divided 50/50, and you get half and the other spouse gets half.

Alimony is sometimes called maintenance, basically to keep your standard of living.

DV, domestic violence. You hear this a lot. DV, DV, DV, and they don't really tell you what it is but you may understand domestic violence.

Mediation versus arbitration. Mediation is when you want to use a mediator to solve some type of problem. Now, an arbitration is binding. So, for example, a mediator can say, "I think you should get the kid three days a week," it's not binding, but the arbitrator could say, "I think you should get three days a week," well, that's binding.

A psychometrician is someone who does a study of exam questions as a scientist and we use them in our exams when become a CFF, for example, we hire a psychometrician to help us out with...make sure the questions we're asking were valid in figuring out that you meet certain requirements.

A vocational evaluation expert. Again, this is someone who's brought in to evaluate a spouse who may not be working. Like, let's say she's a lawyer but she's not in the market. Well, what can she earn if she was?

Restricted stock units is executive skill, all kinds of perks, and sometimes you'll have millions of dollars with the restricted stock that maybe didn't hit the strike price, is worth nothing, but maybe it will. We have ways of dealing with that.

Deferred compensation. You could have an executive with $100,000 but they earned a million because 900,000 was deferred. Alimony modification changes circumstances, okay. After the divorce you can go back and modify or change the alimony amount.

PSA is the property settlement agreement. This is once you're divorced, divorce, all the agreement is written in the property settlement agreement. You need to understand it. Don't sign unless you do.

Prima facie burden. It's your burden to prove change of circumstances if you want to go back after the divorce, so you should do it right the first time. And then prima facie just means accepted until proven incorrect. And what this means, again, it's basically, everything is...once a divorce is final, everything is considered correct unless you can prove it wrong.

So make sure you do it right the first time. Hire a good forensic accountant, hire a good attorney, spend the time. Make sure your CIS statement's accurate. And a lot of people talk about the TCJA because that eliminated deduction for alimony. That was basically a tax law that passed a couple of years ago, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Listen guys, if you have any questions on this, just leave it below in the YouTube comment box, and I'll get back to you or one of my analysts will get back to you. Thanks for listening.

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